Need to know
16, including 10 suites.
11am. Earliest check-in, 1pm. Both are flexible, availability permitting.
Double rooms from $235.00, excluding tax at 29.08 per cent.
Rates usually include à la carte breakfast.
The hotel is owned by two well-travelled property developers, Reita Gadkari and Shane Thantirimudalige. Thanks to Reita’s roaming, the Owl is decorated with art that’s both local (look out for the paddy-sack pieces in some of the bathrooms) and far-flung (from Argentina, for example).
At the hotel
Beachside massage pagoda; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: minibar; organic lemongrass bath products. Suites come with fully equipped kitchens.
Our favourite rooms
We’re sweet on the suites, on account of their colourful styling, lashings of space, handy kitchens and ocean-spying terraces (some of which have hanging day-beds). If you opt for a room, take one with a terrace rather than a balcony – you’ll thank us for it when you’re lounging on it.
There’s an eye-poppingly pretty 17-metre pool with blue-and-green tiles, tucked away in the ocean-spying gardens. A traditional fishing boat is parked up beside it, though we wouldn’t recommend sailing off anywhere...
The hotel has a massage pagoda beside the waves, where guests can be pampered with aromatherapy treatments. Alternatively, have your toes and hands prettified while you sip a cup of tea. Staff can also arrange Ayurvedic treatments with a handy local expert, who owns a spa nearby.
Follow Lear’s advice and bring any – or all – of the following: honey and money; mince and quince; a runcible spoon, or a pea-green boat.
The hotel has wheelchair-accessible rooms and areas.
Despite its fanciful name, this Owl has a grown-up vibe: aside from certain ‘family weeks’ in the year (Easter and Christmas), the hotel only accepts Smiths aged 12 and above. Cots can be added to rooms (from $75).
Most of the hotel’s buildings were made by hand, using traditional tools. Mosquito netting on sliding doors lets guests fall asleep to the sound of the sea, and negates the need for air-conditioning. Filtered water is used, so as to minimise plastic; bath products come packaged in recycled materials. Pillows are graced with a little owl and pussycat made by children at a local orphanage; you can buy the artworks for US$50 (proceeds go to the orphanage).